NoshBar's Dumping Ground

The Uncharted trilogy is a fantastic series of games, 1 and 2 being amongst my favourite games.

I’ve finally started playing Uncharted 3 and can’t help but notice how it’s not so much holding my hand, as holding my head on the sides and rubbing my nose in the answers to puzzles screaming “GOOD BOY, GOOD BOY!”

A lot of talk has been going on about how the new Mario on 3DS is condescending, in that it will basically finish a level for you if you look the other way for too long.
Also, Dark/Demon Souls and Super Meat Boy are heralded as a return to proper hardcore gaming, made intentionally difficult to do anything in (which is condescending in itself, isn’t it? “Oh, the games are too easy for you? Shame, here, try THIS on for size.”)

So, what is my problem with Uncharted? Well, it’s mostly a crapload of shooting, with some puzzle and exploring bits in between.
Puzzle bits. Puzzle. As in, “something to figure out”, or as Wikipedia puts it: ”A puzzle is a problem or enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver”.

The thing is, I never get a chance to be tested in Uncharted 3.
It “hints” things to me before I get a chance to explore the room (A graphic comes on the screen telling me “HINT” and to push “up” to see it… and won’t go away until I do).
Added to that, I have a hint-book on me in-game at all times, with pretty much everything I could ever need to know in (that the game constantly reminds me about).
But that’s not enough, no, the characters in the game go “DRAKE! DRAKE! I found something! It looks like what we need! I bet if we pushed this EXACT tile then it would open the secret door hidden behind this obviously non-matching textured stone in the wall! Sully want treat, TREAT!”… and walking anywhere within 10 meters of said discoloured-tile brings up an icon telling me to push the green triangle button to make it happen.

So not only do I get told where to look and told to read what to do, I have characters that ruin it for me as I’m exploring the beautiful level design.

The worst part is that sometimes I know exactly what I should do, so I start doing it, and halfway though the puzzle, the characters decide to start warbling on about how I should maybe start doing what I started doing about 5 minutes before.

You know what guys? Why don’t you shut the hell up and get shot or something?
You’re ruining it for me, seriously. I no longer have a desire to search around, to figure anything out, because you interfering bastards are just going to treat me like a moron anyway.

And… AND! I get treated like the stupid one, but Drake seems more than happy to casually look at the hint area while being shot at, no reaction at all.
Not only that, he will gladly dive into some water from a height one time, but another time he’ll fall 1 meter maximum, and seemingly be struck by Zeus himself as he hits the water, letting out a scream and dying like he was made of scream-capable tissue paper.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a game that gets it right. You might argue that it isn’t as complex as Uncharted, but the game turns you into several different vehicles along the way, with completely different handling, and all it gives you is a simple icon hinting how to move it around, the rest is up to you to play around with and discover.

So, puzzles are solved for me, gunfights are insane, there is little need to explore anything… why, if I wasn’t having so much fun shooting South Africans, I’d stop playing.

Fortunately, all this fuels me to want to make the most condescending game ever… because spare time was invented so that it could be used to ignore people you care about, right?

P.S. I just played Tintin on the iPad, and the first thing it does is tell you to touch glowing objects. Really? I thought gates just normally glowed with a circle on them. Not only that, while seeing how the onscreen d-pad worked, I happened to walk past a hole in the wall, blocked up by planks. I tapped them as an obvious way to get past the wall, but no, first I have to walk to the gate, try tapping on it, find out it’s locked, THEN I can go to the planks, which are now glowing with a circle on too.

Gah dammit guys.

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